Serbia, “a small country on the fringes of the European Union (EU), is pursuing an ecumenical vaccine policy that it shares with its neighbours”, writes the French daily, Le Figaro, while European analysts and diplomats in Brussels believe that Belgrade’s foreign policy is leading towards a new cold war between the West and, on the other side, China and Russia.
The European media, although EU ruling circles do not want to accept this publicly, now clearly say that a “new cold war” has begun with the creation of new blocs, and Le Figaro believes that this “should be accepted as a lesser evil” than armed wars.
The European Parliament’s recent resolution on Serbia’s accession to the EU has no legal value, but the fact that the document calls more strongly on the Belgrade authorities to adhere to the Union’s foreign policy and sanctions against Russia and China is a reflection of the entry into a “new cold war”, diplomats in Brussels agree.
All EU media and analytical centres share the assessment that a major strategic, industrial-technological, commercial and even geopolitical battle has begun, mainly between President Joe Biden’s America and the increasingly powerful China.
The Biden administration also aims to create an ‘alliance of democracies’ against authoritarian regimes around the world, based on the strengthening and expansion of human rights, the Western model of democracy and the free market, albeit with the necessary changes from the collapse of the neo-liberal model.
Washington, together with the political circles and governments of the Union that are particularly close to it, has initiated “a battle” against China, but also Russia, which has been declared an adversary and even an enemy on the border of the European NATO partners, which should strengthen the Atlantic military alliance and the influence of the United States.
Biden and his team, in addition to what they believe is America’s necessary domestic recovery, want to regain a leading role in global affairs, and the exchange of views with EU leaders is inevitable for policy in the Western Balkans.
This is demonstrated by the great commitment of Americans and Europeans to change the government in North Macedonia, especially when it comes to NATO membership, the visible concerns about the development of NATO member Montenegro, and the plans to finish the job in Bosnia and perhaps open the door to NATO.
This is certainly demonstrated by the new attempts to encourage Serbia to carry out more rapid reforms paving the way for EU membership, as well as the fact that Belgrade must accept the Union’s foreign and security policy, and thus sanctions and breaks in cooperation, removing the influence and interests of China and Russia in the Western Balkans.
Diplomats and analysts from EU research centres agree that the U.S. or the West, in general, cannot revert to global domination as that is not possible, at least for now, due to the fast development of new economic and military forces in the world, but also the economic and financial crisis that hit the West a few years ago, the pandemic and the disastrous experience of the EU and the world with the previous U.S. administration, led by Donald Trump.
Last but not least, there is the conviction of the leading EU members that the multilateral world order must be reorganised and based on new rules.
In an in-depth analysis on the other side of the Atlantic, a distinguished professor at New York University, Branko Milanovic, thinks that “what can no longer be as it was before is the domination of economic power and the political appeal to liberal forms over predominantly authoritarian models when it comes to community governance”.
“Serious crises like this one now tend to strengthen the centralisation of power because it is often the only form in which societies can survive,” says Milanovic.
However, the European Union is not giving up supporting the economic and democratic reorganisation of the Western Balkans in order to bring the countries closer to the accession, certainly after the adoption and implementation of European value systems, because it wants to prove that it is capable of solving the problems in its “backyard” and boost the stability in Europe, analysts and diplomats in Brussels say.
EU foreign ministers will meet in Luxembourg on 19th April to reconsider relations with the Western Balkans.
(Naslovi.net, Beta, Le Figaro, 11.04.2021)
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